Whether you have asthma or you’re just plain allergy prone, your HVAC in Sherman could be exacerbating the effects of allergy season, or worse, making it hard for you to breathe year-round. However, with the proper maintenance and care, you can breathe easy in your own home again. Here is your guide to making your air conditioning in Sherman hypoallergenic.
Check the Filters
With today’s advances in home insulation technology, the air in your home most likely contains dust, dirt, pollen, pest droppings, dust mites, and more. That’s where your HVAC air filter comes in. As the HVAC system pulls air into its ducts, the temperature changes depending on the thermostat settings. From there, the air is pushed through the HVAC filters before it goes into the blower fan to be circulated throughout your home. The filter catches much of the debris and particles in the air in order to protect the fan, so the air coming out of the vents should be purer than the air getting pulled in.
When you go long periods without cleaning or changing your HVAC filters, however, allergens from the air build up. This can overload the filters and cause the HVAC system to blow these allergens all over your house. In general, you should be cleaning or changing your air filters every one to three months. If your allergies are bothering you but you already change your filters at this frequency, you can try changing the air filters more often.
You can go the extra mile by replacing your HVAC filters with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. To qualify as a HEPA filter, a filter must meet certain standards. In the United States, HEPA filters must remove 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter (a micron is one millionth of a meter). In other words, a filter has to work really well to be considered a HEPA filter. HEPA filters can catch even the smallest allergens, including dust mite droppings and pollen.
If you are considering buying a HEPA filter for your HVAC system, be prepared to understand the minimum efficiency reporting values (MERV) system. The MERV system rates air filters on a scale of one to 20 based on how well they filter out particles. Higher numbers mean better filtration. The standard for most homes with HVAC systems is MERV 8. Anything MERV 17 or above is a certified HEPA filter.
One thing that’s important to remember about HEPA filters: you still have to replace them regularly, just like a lower MERV filter. Otherwise you will continue to have allergens circulating throughout your home, and you risk damaging your HVAC system. The primary purpose of HVAC filters is not to purify the air, but to protect the blower fan.
If you have severe allergies or asthma, you might want to augment your HVAC’s air filtration efforts with a whole-home air purifier. There are a number of options when it comes to choosing an air purifier. Air purifiers with media filters provide a physical barrier to allergens, like your HVAC filters, while those with electronic filters have a high-voltage charge that draws in allergens and traps them. Some air purifiers have hybrid filters, combining elements of both media and electronic filters.
As effective as whole-home air purifiers are, they can be expensive to install and maintain, especially because you have to keep replacing the filters. If you’re on a budget, portable air purifiers cost much less to purchase and install. You’ll still need to replace the filters frequently for more efficient use, but even so, you’d be saving hundreds of dollars by buying portable rather than whole-home. Although portable air filters won’t be effective for your entire living space, you can simply bring it into whichever room you’re in. For example, you may want to keep it in your living room or home office during the day and in your bedroom at night.
Air Filters to Avoid
Ultra-low penetration air (ULPA) filters clean air even more thoroughly than HEPA filters. ULPA filters are able to block 99.99% of particles with a diameter of 0.12 micron. However, this does not mean they are more efficient than HEPA filters. In fact, because they’re so good at filtering out air particles, ULPA filters limit airflow, making them less efficient than HEPA filters because they can clean less air overall.
Ultraviolet air filters aren’t inefficient, but they don’t help filter out allergens. These filters use UV light to sterilize the surrounding air of any microscopic virus particles or bacteria. As effective as UV filters are at killing germs, they won’t filter out dust, pollen, or other allergenic particles that are making you cough and sneeze.
Avoiding Mildew and Mold
Your HVAC system might be blowing mold and mildew throughout your house if it is not being properly maintained. Poorly maintained HVAC systems can build up condensation, making the perfect dark, moist location for mildew and mold to grow. A regular maintenance check should keep this under control, but if you live in an especially humid location, you might want to consider investing in a dehumidifier.
Get Regular Air Conditioning Maintenance in Sherman
An annual HVAC tuneup is a simple, affordable way to keep your home allergen free. Professionals will change your air filters and clean the ductwork, where dust and other allergens can build up. Duct cleaning is especially important if your home has pests. Particles from droppings building up in your ducts can worsen allergies. Additionally, if you recently renovated part of your home, there’s probably a lot of extra dust and debris floating around in your ductwork that needs to be removed.
If buying and running air purifiers and dehumidifiers seems like too much money and hassle, but you still want a more comfortable, allergy-free home, annual AC maintenance with Crazy AC Guy is the way to go. You can also discuss your options for an HVAC upgrade that will be better for your breathing with a professional HVAC technician.